Sunday, May 14, 2006

One Look Says It All

If Charlie Manuel was my grandpa, I would like him as the Phillies manager. He could get me great seats to the game, seats where the ushers wouldn't hassle me like I was an Iraqi trying to board a plane with a Flavor Flav-sized digital clock around my neck. He could get me all kinds of signed memorabilia to hang in my basement. Yeah, that all would be nice. But Charlie isn't my grandpa, and I don't thnk he's a good manager.

In this moment of jubilation, the Phils sweeping the Reds and winning 12 of 13, I feel I need to add a bit of levity. Because all of the sudden, to some phans, Uncle Charlie, the old retarded hick from the stick has turned into the second coming of Tony LaRussa. Except he doesn't need notebooks full of stats because it's all in his giant Stephen Hawking-like mind. Did you know Charlie Manuel invented the double-switch? It's true. He's a genius.

Here's my point. I've always liked Charlie Manuel as a coach. But I have never liked him as the Phillies manager. Long story short - he makes horrible in-game decisions that cost the Phillies numerous games last year, a season where they missed the playoffs by ONE game. I don't care about intagibles. They mean nothing. You can't measure them. You can measure wins. And he's good for about -5 per year. Some people don't think the decisions a manager makes during the game are important. Those people are idiots. You can't have cause without effect, action without reaction, Captain without Tenille...

So remember, while you figuratively pat Uncle Charlie on the back and congratulate him for turning this season around (the first 20 games of the season were still Larry Bowa's fault....), he's still the guy who messed up two double-switches in the same game and consistently took his starting pitchers out with shutouts because they "gave us 5 good innings" and he didn't want to push it (this only makes sense to Chris Wheeler, apparently.)

Charlie Manuel is not the reason the Phils started out bad. That was due to bad pitching and hitting. He is not the reason they are winning now. That is due to better pitching and hitting. But he could be the reason they lose later, when it counts for more (call it the "Dusty Baker Effect.")

Now, back to writing about how winning is good...



mjm_41 said...

I stumbled upon your blog circuitously - I am not credulous enough of a layperson's opinion on the game of baseball to intentionally seek them out, nor am I curious about your -or any other scribes'- assessment of my husband's managing skills. But, here I am and there you were saying Charlie Manuel is "retarded" and "not a good manager" (I'm ignoring the "old" and the "hick" parts) and against my better judgment and my precedent for not responding to such castigation from fans, I'm going on the record - only here; only now - as saying that you don't know what you're talking about! (You are my "every fan"!) Sure, sure I know you've watched countless games, on TV and in person, you played little league, high school and college ball, and you play GM with a fantasy league team. You LOVE the game. You study the game. You live, breath and die the game. You've read everything you can get your hands on about the game. Fantastic! You are no doubt an intelligent and passionate fan. But, alas, you are a FAN! You have never - stop me if I'm wrong - played in a professional baseball game at any level, much less at the major league level. You have never coached or managed a minor league or major league game and you've probably never been on the field, in the locker room, or in the dugout during a professional game of baseball. Therefore, I can't wait to reiterate - and I love the simplicity of this - "you don't know what you're talking about." You're not even close.

MLB said...

You two should just be happy someone commented ...isn't that what you always wanted?

I know people are out there calling my husband an idiot for his opinions and decisions (e.g. mjm_41), but I'm not complaining. She'll live and so will Charlie ...hopefully he just won't be managing the Phils for long.